Well, I woke up this morning to clear sunny skies and thought “Now why couldn’t we have this yesterday?”. One of the biggest stress factors of organizing an outdoor event is the weather–and oh, how I wish that was under my control!
I want to shout out a huge thank-you to the vendors who drove through rain to arrive in Marietta, who suffered a few broken items when the big wind gusts blew through, who were determined to stick it out till the end, despite cold, rain, sleet/hail, and wind gusts! Yes, after 2 weeks of gorgeous weather we experienced the full range of Ohio weather, minus heat, in one day!
Despite the less than ideal weather, people still came to browse the quality products of our vendors, and I saw many nice items carried off to a new home. The first Marketplace in June set the tone of what people could expect, and I believe yesterday they arrived knowing they would find unique items and creative, passionate artists and small business people. So I woke up this morning with stiff joints and a few lessons learned:
1. I need to keep reminding myself–I can’t control the weather! I felt personally responsible for the lack of warmth and the gusts of wind, but seasoned vendors realize there is always a risk factor in outdoor venues. I truly appreciate their good-natured attitudes about it, and I know first-time vendors learned a few tricks about securing their products.
2. There are still people who are willing to support local artists and small businesses, who appreciate the time and skill involved in making quality products. If you provide those people with the opportunity to meet the vendors and see the items first-hand, they will spend their time and money to express that support.
3. Marietta has a thriving downtown! As a relocated resident living just outside of town, I have spent the last dozen years working within walking distance of Front Street. It took me several years to “discover” the wonderful shops and businesses that populate Marietta, but since then I have gained a great appreciation and respect for the merchants who work so hard to make it a dynamic, welcoming community. Without their dedication, perseverance and teamwork Marietta would not be a Main Street city.
4. Our vendors are amazing! If you visited the Marketplace you were fortunate to meet some talented, creative people who are friendly and willing to talk about their craft. They are happy to explain their processes, inspirations, or why their product is unique. You will learn how to care for your purchase or perhaps get tips on how to display/wear/use it. Your purchase will be more personal, more meaningful and more valued because you know its story.
5. Behind–or beside–every vendor is a strong support system. Whether it’s my husband setting up tents at 6 am, another husband carrying furniture for his wife’s display, a mom spending the day helping her daughter’s first effort or two sisters driving 3 hours together—we all have people who are willing to invest their time and effort to help us succeed.
6. Marietta is special! There are so many reasons to be proud of this little city! I have received support and cooperation from so many people including the city, Marietta Main Street, the merchants, media and community of artists and vendors. I approached this project with some fear and trepidation but I have been greeted with positive attitudes and encouragement. I am truly grateful for that.
7. I have to thank my daughter Sarah for giving me the nudge and inspiration to start the Marketplace. When she launched her online magazine ClutchMOV, her excitement about the artists and business people she interviewed was contagious. Her introduction to the City Flea in Cincinnati was my model, and I met my first vendors through Sarah. Clutch was also my partner for the inaugural Marketplace, and Sarah has taught me all I know about social networking. And I’m ashamed but proud to confess that Sarah was willing to appear on Daybreak in my place!
I’m sad that the “pop-up” season is coming to a close; I’m so ready to plan another! But be assured that 2015 will see a bigger, better Marketplace each month starting in May. Please follow us and I’ll announce dates as soon as possible. There will be more features such as live music, wine tasting, etc. that will make the Marketplace a true event! Thank you again for your participation and support!